:: Lexington

For a listing of our Spring 2014 Kentucky Derby program, please visit our Lexington Programs page.

When European settlers arrived on the scene, the Bluegrass region was in use as a hunting ground for numerous Native American tribes. Daniel Boone was one of the first Anglo-Saxons to explore the area. He helped establish Kentucky’s first forts in Harrodsburg and Boonesborough.

Lexington was founded in 1775, seventeen years before Kentucky became a state. William McConnell and a group of frontier explorers were camped at a natural spring when word came from nearby Fort Boonesboro that the first battle of the American Revolution had been fought in Lexington, Massachusetts. In honor of the battle, the group named their site “Lexington”. By 1820, Lexington, Kentucky, was one of the largest and wealthiest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains. So cultured was its lifestyle, our city soon gained the nickname “Athens of the West.”

Geography Fayette County consists of 283 square miles of gently rolling plateau in the center of the inner Bluegrass Region. The area is noted for its beauty, fertile soil, excellent pastureland and horse and stock farms. Poa Pratensis (bluegrass) thrives on the limestone beneath the soil’s surface, playing a major role in the area’s scenic beauty and in the development of champion horses. Numerous small creeks rise and flow into the Kentucky River.

The city is set up like a wheel with spokes, with main arterial roads running from downtown out into horse country. Major car rental companies have desks at the airport and branches around town. Public bus service is provided by LexTran. Visitors also have access to a number of cab companies. A great way to see horse country is with a van tour company.